Undefeated Spurs are Grutness champions in the pouring rain
THIS week saw the final hockey games of the Grutness League played out. The results were Zetland 0, Spurs 3; Delting 1, Whalsay 2 and Scalloway 3, Burra 1.
Spurs were crowned winners of the Grutness Trophy, winning five out of five games and their first silverware of the season. Following them in the league sharing second position were Zetland and Delting, then Burra and Whalsay joint third and Scalloway fourth. Meanwhile, the final fixture of the outdoor season takes place tomorrow at Brae Astroturf with the mixed 7-a-side tournament.
Zetland 0, Spurs 3
With most of their regular students away back to college Zetland had managed to get a few Junior Zetland players to make up their numbers. They started positively despite constant pressure from a determined Spurs who knew they had to win this encounter to guarantee them the league.
Spurs strung lots of nice mid-pitch passes together thanks to Stacey Laurenson, Gwen Malcolmson, Lara Thomason and Fiona Shearer but fortunately for Zetland Debbi Kane in goals remained mainly steady. Emma Gray managed to convert one pass from Lara into a goal after just nine minutes and despite the defence’s best efforts a loose ball got through to Emma again after 19 minutes and she calmly slotted it home.
Then the rain came on and boy did it pour! The score remained at 2-0 for the majority of the match and in the five minutes before half time both Ingrid Nicol and Alison Bain were unlucky with their shots on goal as they slipped past the post.
Zetland stuck in doggedly throughout the second half with Helen Robertson and Dawn Anderson never giving up at the back and Lorna Scott making an excellent addition in defence with some very strong clears. Some of the Spurs strikers – Morag Fox and Gayle Donahue in particular – must have been frustrated as they saw some of their best chances denied or just slip past, but Sarah Groat was lucky to get her stick on the end of a nice cross in and slotted her goal in to make the final score 3-0 to Spurs.
For Zetland two players shone – Lorna Scott for her excellent defensive work and Stacey Clark for never giving up her tackles on the right wing. The whole Spurs team played well in this very good natured match but Gayle Johnson impressed most.
Delting 1, Whalsay 2
Whalsay had a strong start, applying pressure to the opposition with good build up play from Elaine Smith, Maggie Kay Irvine and Zoe Irvine. Delting took some time to settle but the game gradually became more evenly matched. A ball was played through the Delting defence resulting in the opening goal for Whalsay from Deborah Mouat. Delting were keen to get right back in the game. Jillian Copland, Janetta Williamson and Claire Jarvie kept control of the midfield and were able to slip a ball through to Lorainne Johnson who spectacularly stretched to guide the ball past the Whalsay keeper.
Despite further attempts from Zoe Irvine and Shelly Sandison the Delting defence of Maria Parker, Yvonne Manson, Nicola Blance and goal keeper Toni Sidgwick were able to soak up any shots that came their way.
The second half started fast and furiously, with good passing from both teams. Fiona Dally was strong in her role as sweeper clearing the ball well up the park when called upon. Delting sealed the victory when a shot from Donna Murray rebounded off the keeper and was swept in by Megan Hibbert at the near post.
Scalloway 3, Burra 1
This game was a splendid occasion for the neutral. It swung from end to end with good spells for both teams. Although they were not playing to win the league, all players were full of spirit and playing for “the jersey”.
Scalloway started as the stronger team and for the first 15 minutes the game seemed to go in their favour. The passing between the Scalloway midfield and forwards were the best seen from this team all season and they were eventually rewarded when Nicola Smith linked well with Meg Nicolson to allow her to break into the Burra circle and score with a lovely shot to give Scalloway the lead. This seemed to settle Scalloway nerves but also gave Burra that extra incentive to apply some pressure of their own. They threatened a number of times through Kristan Robertson and Josie Jamieson, both playing very well in midfield. Sarah Young and Karen MacKelvie were also very strong and influential, but Christine Georgeson was marshalling her defence well and Julie Brown made a few crucial tackles from the right back position to keep them out. Scalloway, however, finished the first half on a high when Sarah Grogan made a splendid strike to give the home team their second for the evening.
After the turn things became very tight for Scalloway with Robertson continually threading her way through for Burra and Jamieson crossing in some tremendous shots. However, Georgia Laurenson was ever present in the Scalloway defence and made a good number of interceptions and clearances to frustrate the Burra forwards.
Midway through the second half, when Scalloway were probably thinking they had weathered the worst of the attacks, Burra finally succeeded when Tracey Blance had a successful shot on goal to make the score 2-1. Strangely this seemed to rally the Scalloway side and it was not long before good work from Naomi Johnson and Rhiannon Inkster allowed Mhari Moncrieff to pounce for Scalloway’s third. Scalloway pressed hard for another and there were a few near misses but the final score remained 3-1. Both teams gave their all and can be proud of their performances in the last 11-a-side league game of the season.
It was difficult to pick stars for the evening given the good team performance but Kristan Robertson took the honours for Burra and Sarah Grogan was best for Scalloway.
Tomorrow: Mixed 7-a-side league (teams in brackets must provide two referees). 10.00am Zetland v LBC New Revolution (Delting); 10.25am Whalsay v Baker Tilly Ness (Zetland); 10.50am Delting v LBC New Revolution (Whalsay); 11.15am Zetland v Whalsay (BT Ness); 11.40am Baker Tilly Ness v Delting (LBC New Rev.); 12.05pm Whalsay v LBC New Revolution (Zetland); 12.30pm Zetland v Baker Tilly Ness (LBC New Rev.); 12.55pm Delting v Whalsay (BT Ness); 1.20pm LBC New Revolution v Baker Tilly Ness (Delting); 1.45pm Zetland v Delting (Whalsay); 2.10pm Presentation.